Trump army secretary pick: Universal health care robs churches of opportunities to bring people to Jesus
Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (Photo: Facebook)

Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee who is President Donald Trump's pick to be army secretary, once told a church group that he opposed universal health care because it makes people less likely to embrace Christianity.

As the Washington Examiner reports, Green said in 2015 that it should be the Christian church's role to help provide sick people with health care so they can more easily convert them to their religion.

"The person who's in need... they look to the government for the answer, not God, and I think in that way government has done an injustice that's even bigger than just the creation of an entitlement welfare state," Green said. "In this setting, I'll share the story, I think it interrupts the opportunity for people to come to a saving knowledge of who God is."

Green argued that since Jesus regularly used his powers to cure lepers, the modern-day church should take on a similar role.

"If you look at the Gospels and you go and study the Gospels, every person who came to Christ came to Christ with a physical need," he said. "It was either hunger or a disease."

In the past, Green has drawn controversy for his statements attacking both the theory of evolution and the theory of relativity, as well as his statements attacking LGBT rights.